Social Credit Philosophy
Social Credit Philosophy by M. Oliver Heydorn Ph. D.
Some brief observations and comments by Wallace Klinck
Douglas was an inductive thinker and sought evidence from which to formulate conclusions. But he was open to new revelations and for that reason was probably reluctant to rely excessively upon deductive thought because conclusions drawn from deduction are reliant upon the validity of the assumptions upon which they are based.
In the real world of limited human experience and cognition, there is always the possibility—if not certainty—that previous assumptions may be discovered as being either false or inadequate. He opposed any set Utopian “blueprints” for society and conceived life for the individual as something which evolves, unfolds or becomes “actualized”,“unveiled”, or “revealed” during the great adventure that is life. He believed that the result of this process should properly be the rich development, efflorescence and differentiation of the individual human personality. This development should be self-actuallized and not determined by imposed external influence.
Taken by itself as an isolated statement Douglas’s comment that “That is moral which works best” is in itself meaningless without definitions of the words “moral” and “best.” Depending upon one’s objective this simply means that which most effectively works to achieve a given objective, without any necessary consideration of what is either “moral” or “best” other than it is what one desires.
But Douglas’s statement cannot be taken as an isolated axiom and must be interpreted or evaluated in consideration of his overall integrated body of thought. In this regard he was entirely clear that the appropriate objective of human association is to generate increments of satisfaction which redound to the individual benefit and satisfaction of participants in association. This theme permeates his works from end to end.
His concepts of “moral” and “good” were clearly related to man’s degree of success in understanding and relating to the Logos, being the body of law which governs the universe. He assumed that there is such cosmic law and that we as humans can only seek and achieve an increased, if imperfect, understanding of it. To the extent that we do discover and adhere to the Logos we will prosper. That is realism.
On the question of intuition I believe that Bill Ryan was certainly correct in his expressed opinion that Douglas was an exceptionally intuitive thinker. Douglas himself mentioned that some insights seem to come as a seemingly instantaneous flash of awareness.
This introduces the question of the nature of intuition. Does man think creatively by virtue of his own mortal cognitive powers or is he or she the recipient of imparted knowledge? That is, is the mind of man merely a conduit for the mind of God—the Mind of the Maker?
In reality do we receive knowledge from external inspiration and have only the ability to process or utilize it? Ask and ye shall receive. Does man actually create or merely receive? Let no man boast. Something, perhaps, for the Marxists and Libertarians, whose creed is salvation through works, to ponder.
On the question of philosophical realism, Douglas was very clear in discussing the weakness and danger of pure reason itself as a reliable basis of life, i.e., that it is only valuable insofar as the inputs to it are valid. Pure reason can be the foundation of tyranny. Indeed, “scientific materialism” as promoted by Marxism provided the perfectly logical basis for tyranny and for the liquidation of millions of people. A citizen of Israel once confided to me that “there is nothing about that religion which is not based upon reason.”
From a Christian standpoint reason can only serve us properly if motivated by Divine Love—something which, being of God, is beyond the capacity of man to define or describe with the tools of language.
It is only that which can be received and experienced as something in the nature of an indefinable and indescribable impulse but it transcends all things as the ultimate influence upon our lives. Reason can only be its servant.
Many thanks for your latest contribution to the Social Credit cause, Oliver. It is greatly appreciated as a most valuable addition to the body of Social Credit literature.